Laws and regulations

  • New immigration policy separates families, loved ones

    When DHS issued, on 15 June, an executive order which would defer, for two years, deportation proceedings against many illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, it was a day of celebration for many young immigrants and their families; the order went into effect on 15 August; some illegal immigrants had a cause for celebration, but many do not – because they found out they were not eligible

  • Forensic science in the dock

    Two members of O. J. Simpson’s defense team founded the Innocence Project in 1992; since then, the project has helped exonerate almost 300 innocent people by challenging improper use of DNA testing and other elements of forensic science

  • DHS in settlement talks with employee who charged that ICE was being run “frat style”

    DHS has entered into settlement talks with James Hayes, the head of New York ICE office, following a suit filed by Hayes against DHS secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE; the suit charged two female executives at ICE with turning the agency into a “frat house,” and with discrimination against male employees of the agency

  • Janet Napolitano named in two lawsuits

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano is under fire for two very different reasons as she is named in two separate lawsuits; the first lawsuit charges that two women executives Napolitano brought to DHS have mistreated male employees at the department; the second suit, brought by several ICE agents, charges that the administration’s deferred deportation executive order, which went into effect 15 August, force the agents face difficult choices while performing their tasks

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  • House panel charges DHS overstates deportation figures

    A House committee says the administration inflates the number of illegal aliens it has deported in 2011 and 2012; the committee says the administration is able to cite larger numbers of deportees by including numbers from the Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP) in the administration’s year-end removal numbers; if the number of ATEP-removed individuals is subtracted from ICE-deported individuals, then the annualized number of deportees in 2011 and 2012 would lower – rather than higher – than the number of deportees in 2008 and 2009

  • MIT expert: “toxic” political discussions limit climate response

    In a talk at the Sandia National Lab, an MIT expert says the inability of natural and social scientists to convince political leaders that “we’re spinning a roulette wheel over climate change” puts humanity at “extreme risk,” and that the difficulties in using science to push for mitigation strategies are more political than scientific

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  • Industry fights Pentagon efforts to restrict exporting of infrared products

    The global market for infrared technology products will be worth about $2.6 billion dollars by 2017; the technology can be used for commercial products such as automotive, surveillance, and security industries – and is heavily used by the military; three major U.S. infrared equipment makers fight the Pentagon’s efforts to restrict exports of devices based on the technology for fear these devices may enhance the military capabilities of adversaries of the United States

  • Yankee Stadium awarded SAFETY Act designation

    The SAFETY Act designation has been given to many defense and security companies since DHS started awarding it in 2004, but Yankee Stadium is the first sports arena to become immune to general lawsuits which could be filed by victims of future terrorist attacks

  • Court: Kentucky can continue to credit God for homeland security

    The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a state law that mandated that the commonwealth give credit to God for Kentucky’s homeland security; the Court let stand a 2011 Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling which found that a 2006 law, requiring the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to publicize dependence on “Almighty God” in agency training and educational materials, did not violate the establishment clause in the Constitutional

  • U.S. wind power market riding a wave which is likely to crest in 2012

    Facing looming policy uncertainty beyond 2012, the United States remained one of the fastest-growing wind power markets in the world in 2011 — second only to China; the expiration of key federal incentives could bring that wave crashing down in 2013, , despite a significant decline in the cost of wind energy

  • Obama considering executive order for infrastructure protection

    President Barack Obama is exploring whether to issue an executive order to protect the U.S. critical computer infrastructure from cyber attacks; White House sources say an executive order is being considered after a 2 August procedural vote in the Senate that all but doomed a scyberecurity bill endorsed by Obama as well as current and former national security officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations

  • NIST ballistic standard tie Guns to criminals and crime scenes

    Nearly 200,000 cartridge cases are recovered annually at U.S. crime scenes; thanks to a new reference standard developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), law enforcement agencies will have an easier time linking these cartridge cases to specific firearms

  • USDA’s proposed chicken safety inspection policy could mean trouble for consumers

    The federal government has come up with a new proposal to examine chickens for contaminates and diseases, and the proposal has some people concerned and others outright scared; the proposal would reduce the number USDA food safety inspectors at poultry plants from four to one – and rely on plant’s employees to do safety inspections instead

  • Drones used by police, firefighters raise privacy concerns

    DHS is accelerating the use of unmanned drones by police and firefighters around the country with the intent of detecting fires, radiation leaks, and other potential threats, but Congress and privacy advocacy organizations think the se of drones raises several privacy issues

  • Obama’s sweeping immigration initiative goes into effect next week

    On 15 August 2012 a sweeping new immigration initiative, the most significant easing of immigration policy since President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to an estimated three million people in 1986, goes into effect; it would defer deportation action against, and grant a work permit to, illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria